Report: Rams could make Aaron Donald highest-paid NFL defender

Aaron Donald is one of the NFL stars next in line for a huge payday
Michael Dixon
Written by Michael Dixon

Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead recently said that star defensive lineman Aaron Donald “deserves a raise.” Now, Snead is reportedly putting that plan into action, which could mean making Donald the NFL’s highest-paid defender.

“Even though they just bought themselves some extra time by picking up his fifth-year option, the Rams are very interested in getting a long-term extension done with Aaron Donald this offseason,” ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez reported. “That would probably require making him the game’s highest-paid defensive player, which right now is Von Miller (6 years, $114.5M, with $70M guaranteed).”

Obviously, that’s a lot of money to give a player. In a league with a hard salary cap, devoting so much to one player — especially an interior defender — is risky.

With that said, Donald has been a dominant¬†force since joining the NFL. He’s recorded eight or more sacks in each of his first three years, despite spending a great deal of time as an interior defensive lineman. When he’s not getting to the quarterbacks, it’s usually because of a double-team, thereby freeing up other linemen.

The Rams have been one of the NFL’s worst teams over the last decade. Rebuilding into a contender will not be easy. But even if he’s expensive, Donald is the kind of player who should be a cornerstone of a rebuilding project. If Los Angeles has the chance to lock him up long term, it would be wise to do so.

About the author

Michael Dixon

Michael Dixon

Bay Area born and raised, I have extensive experience in both the print and online worlds. There are few things in this world I love doing more than talking sports.